This is such an easy Halloween craft and you can stop at the painting or continue on to make a simple garland to hang up for Halloween. Potato prints are a fun way to make specific shapes with toddlers. Don’t miss the Halloween themed books after the craft , it’s not too late to grab a few and read before Halloween.
- Gather your materials. You will need a potato, knife, potato peeler, dish, white paint, black paper, scissors, stapler and orange ribbon.
- Start by cutting the potato in two and cutting the bottom in a zig zag. Use the end of a peeler to make eyes.
- Pour the white paint into the dish and add the ghost potato.
- Print! She loved the “ghosties”. I was excited they printed so well.
- When we filled two sheets we let them dry and then cut them out.
- Next we stapled them to the ribbon. My daughter chose the ghosts and handed them to me to staple.
- Then we added it to our fall mantle.
Using holidays like Halloween as a theme for great learning activities is a sure fire hit in my house. My daughter who is 2 is always excited to do any project but my almost 6 year old is a lot more picky. This Halloween math activity was such a hit that when I asked my son to rate it 1-100 he gave it a 100 without hesitation! Better yet it’s pretty easy to make , adapt for various levels and frugal too.
- Gather your materials. You will need some craft paper , markers , white card stock ( or paper plates !), scissors, painter’s tape and something to attach the house to a wall. I used push pins but more painter’s tape would work too.
- Cut out simple ghost shapes from the paper plates / card stock. Add faces and numbers. I did 1-10 but you can write whatever numbers your child is working on.
- Draw a haunted house on craft paper. Mine took 3 tries the first was so bad I should have taken a picture to make you all laugh. The other ones became coloring paper for my toddler.
- Write out simple equations , number words or even just numbers to match up. You will see further down that for a toddler like my daughter you don’t even need anything to match. Just play with the numbers on the ghosts.
- Add painter’s tape to the ghosts and on the haunted house where you will place the equations.
- Add the equations to the house, put the ghosts next to it ready to be put in the house and call your little mathematician.
- As soon as my son saw the activity he said it was too easy and it probably was. I grabbed my iPhone and asked him if he wanted me to time him. His face lit up. I don’t suggest timing children who don’t want to be timed or who will feel negatively pressured . Matching the words with the numbers on the ghosts was an easy task for my son but he has a competitive spirit and timing him made it more fun because it made it challenging.
- He flew through it. Placing the ghosts on top of the matching words.
- Next I switched the words on the house to simple equations. These were not going to be as easy and I told him for this time we would not be timing it. I think that if I’d done the harder task first he would have gotten frustrated when a few of the harder equations didn’t come to him immediately.
- After my son was done I removed all the tape and equations so the house was clear , and put the ghosts back on the wall. Then invited my daughter who is 2 to come and put the ghosts in the haunted house. It was perfect for her. She grabbed the ghosts and named the numbers she knew and asked me to confirm the numbers she didn’t. She was very specific about where they should be. I was thrilled that they both had fun with math at their own levels of learning!
Ghosts In The House
Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kohara is on my must buy list! A little girl moves into house and soon finds out it is haunted. Luckily she is a witch and knows just what to do. The ghosts in the story seem mischievous but never scary and even when she washes them in the washing machine, they are still smiling. My son loved this book, the text was the perfect length for a 3 year old, short but still descriptive. I loved the simple black and orange colors and had to look at the copyright twice because I was certain this was written sometime in the 30s, nope 2008. The simplicity of the book and colors is balanced so well with the little details like the little girl’s constant companion , a white cat that puts on a black costume when the little witch pops on her hat. This detail had my son in stitches, “Cats don’t wear clothes , silly cat!” . Absolutely a perfect Halloween book for children not yet ready to be scared for fun!This post contains an affiliate link.
There are a lot of homemade Halloween bowling games but the goal of this one isn’t just to have fun knocking down a few ghosts ( although my son sure has had a blast!) it’s also about building fine motor skills, counting and making something together as siblings.
- Gather your materials. You will need some empty water bottles , sticky back black foam, scissors, a few packages of cotton balls and a pumpkin ball.
- Start by filling your bottles with cotton balls. My two year old and I worked together filling her bottle. This was a challenge for her and her fine motor skills. My son had no problem and happily filled his first bottle in a snap.
- Make it a challenge for fast finishers. I decided to give my son a challenge and asked him to estimate how many cotton balls it takes to fill a bottle, then count to see the difference.
- While your kids fill the bottles cut some eyes from the foam. This sticky back foam is great for crafts when you don’t want to wait for glue to dry .
- When all the bottles are filled peel the backing off the eyes ( more fine motor work) and pop them on the bottles.
- Can you tell which one my daughter made?
- Now it’s time to bowl. My daughter got frustrated pretty quickly but I am going to try again today when her brother is at school. I don’t thin it was the activity that frustrated her so much as not being able to do it just like her much more coordinated older brother. He had a blast. On his own he decided to try out different ways to arrange the ghosts. In a horizontal line, diagonal one, a bunch and then in this X. All I know is he was working on gross motor skills while also experimenting with the most basic of a physics lesson.
AlphaOops: H Is for Halloweenby Althea Kontis is a really sophisticated alphabet book that works well for a wide range of kids. A toddler will enjoy the bright illustrations by Bob Kolar and older children will be able to follow along with the silly storyline about the letters putting on a Halloween show. What I adore about this book is that the letters are completely out of order and some of the things they represent are far from ordinary. Instead of werewolf the author used the word lycanthrope which I had never heard and my son loved learning something at the same time as I did. The few trickier words were great for my son who often guesses words even though he can sound them out. It forced him to work harder . As soon as we were done reading it together he asked to read it again. Super awesome alphabet book for Halloween !
Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters by Jane Yolen is a sweet monster book with minimal text and very rich illustrations by Kelly Murphy. The story is really about the daily wind down and bedtime for two monsters. You and your child will absolutely relate to them on one page or another ( or all). These little monsters are just like our little monsters resisting bedtime, trying to avoid baths… well you know the daily struggle. My daughter was not into the book but my son liked it even though I’d gear it towards the 2-4 crowd. We chose our favorite monsters on each page and found interesting details like the recipe for tentacle soup on the page where the mom is making dinner . Cute, your child will relate to it and it’s not at all scary!
Finding fun spooky games to play that won’t scare the pants of little guys is not always a simple task . This game is simple, spooky but not at all frightening. As I was making it I wasn’t so sure of how we’d play but the rules evolved and we’ve been playing it all weekend . The giggles were epic and the only screams were when I forgot the spiders are fake and walked into the living room and saw them on the floor. This activity works on balance , problem solving and can be adapted for various levels.
- Gather your materials. You will need some painters tape, plastic spiders, a prize for the end like a glow stick and if the simple version ( explained below) is too easy have some other obstacles like these ghosts ready to make it a challenge.
- Start by making a web with tape on your floor. You can do a full web or if like me space is limited just do a half.
- Make an obvious start and finish. We call our finish home base.
- Add some spiders around the web and the prize ( glowstick) in the center. After the first go I let my son scatter the spiders himself.
- Time to play. So the object of this web walking game is to stay on the web and pick up all the spiders then the prize ( glow stick) without falling off the web . Now this can be made very difficult by requiring tippy toes or much easier by only counting a fall onto the floor as a true fall. For us he was out and had to start again if he took a step off the tape.
- It was not a big enough challenge so we added ghosts! He could step over them but if his foot touched one he was out. Another way to make it much more of a challenge for older kids is to turn it into a timed challenge with a stop watch.
- When he did step off I’d make a cackling witchy laugh and proclaim ” You fell into the goo, ew, ew, ew ! ” He’d laugh and start again
Spooky … a little but definitely not scary! I think this game will be coming out every October for years to come.
You may know the song ” One Elephant” This is a Halloween version that fits this activity perfectly. In my class I used to sing this with me starting at one side of the circle time rug calling each child over. My assistant teacher would be last. I have had so many requests for songs, I couldn’t ignore this perfect match of song and activity.
One little ghost went out to play upon a spider’s web one day
He had such enormous fun that he called for another little ghost to come.
Two little ghosts went out to play upon a spider’s web one day
They had such enormous fun that they called for another little ghost to come.
and so on and so on…
When I was going through past posts for my Letter B Theme post last week I saw my frozen banana treats tutorial and got an idea to make them into ghosts for a healthy-ish Halloween treat. They were super easy to make. Please note that the jelly beans especially when frozen can be a choking hazard , please take off and let thaw before serving it to a child.
- Gather your materials ( or rather ingredients). You will need bananas ( 3 medium cut in half), 3/4 lb of white chocolate chips, table spoon of butter, 6 popsicle sticks, microwavable bowl, baking dish and 12 black jelly beans. Also you will need wax paper for the dish, I was out and my baby was sleeping so I used non stick spray and it worked but wax paper would be better.
- Start by cutting the bananas in 2 .
- Push a popsicle stick into the bananas.
- Pour your chips into a microwavable bowl, add the butter and melt. What worked for me was to do 30 seconds, stir, 30 seconds, stir, 20 seconds and stir. Watch it carefully it burns easily.
- Dip and cover the bananas with the white chocolate.
- Place in the pan ( on wax paper or non stick spray), and add the jelly beans for eyes.
- Freeze .2 hours was perfect for us, bananas weren’t rock hard.
- Serve. Don’t forget about the jelly beans, pop them off and let thaw before eating.